USDA ARS United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area

Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)

  GRIN Taxonomy for Plants
Jump to common names  Jump to economic impacts  Jump to distribution  Jump to references  Jump to synonyms  Jump to links to other online resources  Jump to images

***Please tell us why you value GRIN Taxonomy***

Taxon: Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link

Genus: Pennisetum
Family: Poaceae (alt. Gramineae) subfamily: Panicoideae tribe: Paniceae
Nomen number: 27177
Place of publication: Hort. berol. 1:213. 1827
Name verified on: 17-Jan-2012 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 17-Jan-2012
Species priority site is: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit, Griffin, GA (S9).
Accessions: 872 in National Plant Germplasm System.
  • all available ) NPGS accessions. or .
  • all available ) NPGS accessions by country.
  • Check PlantSearch database of Botanic Gardens Conservation International for possible non-NPGS germplasm.

A declared aquatic or terrestrial noxious weed and/or noxious-weed seed in these U.S. states (see state noxious weed lists), with links to state information or web documents:
ªAquatic. *Terrestrial. °In seed.
noxious weed information from Invaders Database System for northwestern U.S.

Common names:

  • African foxtail grass   (Source: Weed CIBA [as Cenchrus ciliaris]) – English
  • buffel grass   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • sabat   (Source: Ill L Qatar [as Cenchrus ciliaris]) – Arabic
  • cenchrus cilié   (Source: Dict Rehm [as Cenchrus ciliaris]) – French
  • Büffelgras   (Source: Dict Rehm [as Cenchrus ciliaris]) – German
  • Klebgras   (Source: Zander Ency [as Cenchrus ciliaris]) – German
  • dhaman   (Source: Dict Rehm [as Cenchrus ciliaris]) – India
  • cencro ciliare   (Source: Mult Glossary Crops ) – Italian
  • pasto buffel   (Source: Dict Rehm [as Cenchrus ciliaris]) – Spanish
  • zacate buffel   (Source: Grass Util Mex [as Cenchrus ciliaris]) – Spanish (Mexico)

Economic importance:


Distributional range:

    Macaronesia: Portugal - Madeira Islands; Spain - Canary Islands
    Northern Africa: Algeria; Egypt; Libya; Morocco; Tunisia
    Northeast Tropical Africa: Eritrea; Ethiopia; Sudan
    East Tropical Africa: Kenya; Tanzania; Uganda
    West Tropical Africa: Ghana; Mali; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal
    South Tropical Africa: Angola; Mozambique; Zambia; Zimbabwe
    Southern Africa: Botswana; Namibia; South Africa - Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape, Western Cape; Swaziland
    Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia; Yemen
    Western Asia: Afghanistan; Egypt - Sinai; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Syria
    Indian Subcontinent: India; Pakistan
    Southeastern Europe: Italy - Sicily

      Naturalized: (links to other web resources are provided for some distributions)
    Eastern Asia: Taiwan
    Malesia: Papua New Guinea
    Australia: Australia
    Southeastern Europe: Greece
    Southwestern Europe: Spain
    Southeastern U.S.A.: United States - Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi
    South-Central U.S.A.: United States - New Mexico, Texas
    Southwestern U.S.A.: United States - Arizona, California
    Northern Mexico: Mexico - Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas
    Southern Mexico: Mexico - Campeche, Chiapas, Colima, Federal District, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Veracruz, Yucatan
    North-Central Pacific: United States - Hawaii
    South-Central Pacific: French Polynesia
    Southwestern Pacific: Fiji; New Caledonia; Niue; Tonga
    Caribbean: Puerto Rico
    Mesoamerica: Costa Rica; El Salvador; Nicaragua; Panama
    Northern South America: Venezuela
    Brazil: Brazil
    Western South America: Bolivia; Ecuador; Peru
    Southern South America: Argentina - Formosa, Jujuy, Tucuman; Paraguay

  • also cultivated


  • Alderson, J. & W. C. Sharp. 1995. Grass varieties in the United States, U.S.D.A. Agric. Handb. 170, rev. ed.
  • Brako, L. & J. L. Zarucchi. 1993. Catalogue of the flowering plants and gymnosperms of Peru. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 45. [= Cenchrus ciliaris L.].
  • CIBA-GEIGY, Basel, Switzerland. Documenta CIBA-GEIGY (Grass weeds 1. 1980, 2. 1981; Monocot weeds 3. 1982; Dicot weeds 1. 1988) [= Cenchrus ciliaris].
  • Davidse, G. et al., eds. 1994. Flora mesoamericana. [= Cenchrus ciliaris L.].
  • Englert, J. M. et al. 1999–. USDA-NRCS Improved conservation plant materials released by NRCS and cooperators.
  • Euro+Med Editorial Committee. Euro+Med Plantbase: the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity (on-line resource). [= Cenchrus ciliaris].
  • Exell, A. W. et al., eds. 1960–. Flora zambesiaca. [= Cenchrus ciliaris L.].
  • FNA Editorial Committee. 1993–. Flora of North America.
  • Hedberg, I. & S. Edwards. 1989–. Flora of Ethiopia. (and Eritrea. 2000) [= Cenchrus ciliaris].
  • Hitchcock, A. S. 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States, ed. 2.
  • International Seed Testing Association. 1982. A Multilingual Glossary of Common Plant-Names 1. Field crops, grasses and vegetables, ed. 2.
  • Kartesz, J. T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland.
  • Keay, R. W. J. & F. N. Hepper. 1953–1972. Flora of west tropical Africa, ed. 2. [= Cenchrus ciliaris L.].
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. 1998. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. [= Cenchrus ciliaris L.].
  • Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. [= Cenchrus ciliaris].
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952–. Flora of tropical East Africa. [= Cenchrus ciliaris].
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. 1964–1980. Flora europaea. [= Cenchrus ciliaris L.].
  • Vibrans, H., ed. Malezas de México (on-line resource).
  • Zohary, M. & N. Feinbrun-Dothan. 1966–. Flora palaestina. [= Cenchrus ciliaris L.].
  • Zuloaga, F. O. et al. 1994. Catalogo de la familia Poaceae en la Republica Argentina. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 47. [= Cenchrus ciliaris L.].


Check other web resources for Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link:


  • Check for additional images
  • Google Images Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

| USDA | ARS | GRIN | NPGS | New Search |

Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (10 October 2015)

Please send us your comments

Close Window

Ctrl P to print